The Detroiter's own Arts Editor, Nick Sousanis, makes a mark of a different kind via the latest edition of the Lemberg Gallery's Billboard Project.
Nice one Nick!

Below are some comments from the artist.
And don't forget, now is your chance to critique the Critic! - sound off on our reader feedback forum. - Sumo

(Also click here for what the Detroit Free Press' Keri Cohen had to say and here for an interview by Nicole Stafford of the Birmingham Eccentric.)


In time for spring, the billboard is about change. The imagery changes as drivers pass by it. The initial image of an assembly line/freeway of people disappears to be replaced by a brightly colored leaping figure.

Why 2 images in 1?
Change of state – motion and metamorphosis – a transformation.

Movies achieve change through a succession of frames over TIME. In sequential art, (i.e. comic books) change occurs between frames separated by SPACE. But on a billboard? The solution = SPACE + TIME. Make use of the fact that people are driving by to transform the image.

Detroit geography advantageous – spokes on a grid. 60º intersections make illusion possible. Initial image persists until finally right alongside it 2ndary image appears in a flash of color and just as quickly disappears from view.

Primary visual is of human assembly lines/human expressways – sleepwalkers. This imagery is prevalent throughout history from Giovanni Piranesi’s 18th century prison-scapes to endless fields of sleeping humans in The Matrix films to the Borg of Star Trek, in which the human is fully subsumed by the machine, possessing a single mind and no capacity for individual thought.

Henry Ford had this to say of his workers: “They want to be led…” and furthermore the average worker “wants a job in which he does not have to think.”

I reject this viewpoint. We are complex, beautiful creatures – this must not be forgotten. The second image stands in contrast to the first: bright, in motion, alive. Potential energy made kinetic. An expression of joy – a glimmer of possibility often obscured.

Can art awaken something dormant within us?

Nick Sousanis - April 2004

The billboard is installed at the SW corner of Woodward and Maplehurst in Ferndale, approximately at 9 1/2 mile.
For additional information, or to submit a billboard proposal, please contact Sarah at (248)591-6623, or sarah@lemberggallery.com.
© 2002 thedetroiter.com